Search

Pure by Jennifer L Armentrout Book Review

Updated: Oct 11



Pure

by Jennifer L Armentrout

Published by Spencer Hill Press

Book 2 in the Covenant Series


There is need. And then there is Fate...


Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome—especially when Alexandria’s "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom—so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do—and sacrifice—for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies—lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone



RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:

Foul Language Young Adult Action

Violence Mythology Emotional

Some steamy scenes Romance


 

Pure by Jennifer L Armentrout it the second book in the Covenant series and holy. Shit.


Sorry. Had to type that. I'm still emotionally ripped apart.


Pure starts off a couple of weeks after the events of the first book, half-blood, with school now in session, and it's not proving to be easy. School, and training with both Aiden and Seth, soak up all of Alex's time and energy. Pile on top her struggles with what happened with her mother in the last book, her physical scars from the encounter, all the unknowns with being the second Apollyon, Aiden breaking her heart, and having her peers treat her like she has committed some crime ... well, it's a lot. Especially for a teenager girl.


This. Book. Didn't. Disappoint. Its filled with action, romance, lust, and heartbreaking events that will make you bawl (I did!), but you won't be able to put the book down. It highlights themes that we face every day in the real world, like the injustice of inequality, and the consequences of it. Actually, consequences is a major theme to this book.


Let's focus on our three main characters. I love Alex. The best word to describe her is wild. It's a good and a bad thing. She is fun to read. Her attitude and her inability to swallow down inequality of the world she lives in is wonderful. Is she perfect? Gods no. (Ha. See what I did there?) ... honestly though ... she is a 17 year old girl. I like that she is flawed. She is reckless and doesn't think before she speaks ... often. Aiden ... well, it would be easy to dislike him, but I can't help but love him for the fact that he isn't being the way he is to hurt her. He is also sacrificing his happiness, so that she can have a life. He knows if they were caught together, he would get a slap on the wrist, and she would have everything taken from her. His moments of weakness are understandable, but I get how they mislead and hurt Alex even more. Now Seth. I have seen Jennifer Armentrout fans say they dislike Seth, and I'm left wondering why. Yeah, he can be a tool. He is arrogant. But he is there for Alex. Sure, it can be argued that he does it for himself, because he feels her pain, and wants her happy so he is happy ... but I feel it's more than that. I don't think he loves her. I don't get the "in love" vibes from him. But I think he does love her in his way, and yes, lusts after her. I'm giving him a chance. It's not like he is getting in the way of Aiden and Alex ... Aiden's self-control, and the rules are in the way. I get big "best friend" vibes from him.


Pure was an amazing continuation of Alex's story. So much happens in this book, and there were many parts where I was laughing, definitely crying (ugly crying), and wanting to pull my hair out. Jennifer Armentrout proves time and time again how great of a writer she is, and I can't wait to continue the series with the next book.






Where to Buy

Kindle

Paperback (amazon)

Kobo

Google Play Books





Jackson: "Always on your back, huh?"

Alex: "Yeah, that's more like your girlfriend. Get off."


Romvi: "Many of you aren't ready for graduation. Many of you will die the first week on the job, but you, Miss Andros? You're an embarrassment to the Covenant."

Romvi was an embarrassment to the male race, but he didn't hear me bitching.


Aiden: "You should never be ashamed of these scars, Alex. Never."


Alex: "I'm not a daimon, you skank."

Lea: "If it looks like a daimon, then ..."

Caleb: "Lea, go screw someone and tan, in whatever order. No one wants to hear your crap. And that's the funny thing about you, Lea. You think everyone cares what you have to say, when all they care about is how easy it is to get you on your back."

Olivia: "Or how the Instructors found a bottle of Brew in your room last week. Didn't know you were into such freaky stuff, or maybe that's how you get guys into you."

I snorted

Alex: "Wow. Drugging guys to sleep with you? Nice. I guess that's why Jackson practically humped my leg in class today."


Lea: "She broke my nose again! You can't let her get away with this!"

Alex: "Oh, shut up. The docs will fix it. Half your face is plastic anyway."


Marcus: "Now, I'm pulled out of an investigation that will make or break my career here, all because my half-blood niece broke a girl's nose in the cafeteria ... with an apple, of all things."

Alex: "She accused me of being a daimon!"

Marcus: "So your natural response is to throw an apple at her face hard enough to break a bone?"

Alex: "She said I was the reason her parents were killed."

Marcus: "I'll ask you one more time: So you decided to throw an apple hard enough to break a bone?"

I wiggled uncomfortably

Alex: "Yeah, I guess so."

Marcus: "Is that all you have to say?"

Alex: "I didn't think the apple would break her nose."


Alex: "Am I, like, grounded or something?"

Marcus: "Until further notice, and do not even think of arguing with me. You cannot go unpunished for this."

Alex: "But how can you ground me?"

Marcus: "You broke a girls nose with an apple."


Clive: "You think you can get away with anything, don't you? You're the dean's niece, the Minister's stepdaughter, and the next Apollyon. You're just so damn special, aren't you?"

I jerked my arm free

Alex: "Yeah, I'm that damn special."

Clive: "Just remember you're still a half-blood, Alex."

Alex: "Just remember that I am the dean's niece, the Minister's stepdaughter, and the next Apollyon."

Clive stepped up, his nose almost touching mine

Clive: "Are you threatening me?"

Alex: "No. I'm just reminding you of how special I really am."


Alex: "Where's Seth?"

Aiden's eyes glittered with amusement

Aiden: "He's with the Minister. Would you prefer him?"

Alex: "No!"


Alex: "So let me get this straight. You think it's okay for them to restrict where we can go and what we can do? That they can search are rooms at any time? You think it's acceptable for them to subject us to full body searches? And it's okay for them to launch a witch hunt the moment they think there's another daimon?"

Aiden: "No one's starting a witch hunt, Alex! I agree that certain measures have to be taken, but I don't agree with -"

Alex: "My gods, you're just another pure, Aiden! You're no different than the rest of them. How irrational of me to think otherwise."

Aiden flinched as if I'd hit him

Aiden: "I'm no different than the rest? Do you hear yourself?"

Alex: "Whatever. Who cares, right? I'm just a half-blood."

Aiden: "How can you even say I'm like the other pures? Answer me, Alex."

Alex: "Because ... because you should know that those rules aren't fair to us!"

Aiden: "This isn't about the damn rules, Alex. I'm like the other pures? You really believe that?"

Alex: "But you think -"

Aiden grabbed my arm, pulling me right against his chest.

Aiden: "If I was like every other pure-blood, I would have had you by now, without even thinking about the consequences for you. Every day is a struggle not to be like them. So don't tell me I'm like other pures."


Seth: "Should I kiss it and make it better for you?"

Alex: "Thanks, but I'll pass."

Seth: "I've been told my lips can make a girl forget just about anything. You should try it out."

I wrinkled my nose


Alex: "Look, you can leave now. You apologized. Bye."

Seth: "I think I'll stay. I kind of like it here."

Alex: "What? You can't stay. It's against the rules."

Seth laughed deeply

Seth: "Since when do you care about rules?"

Alex: "I'm a changed person."

Seth: "When did you change? Just right now? 'Cuz I heard about your smackdown in the cafeteria yesterday. By the way, that was made of awesome."


Alex: "Do you think I'm irrational?"

Seth: "Is that a trick question?"

Alex: "So I'm irrational?"

Seth: "You're a bit crazy. You throw apples in people's faces when you're angry. You go off half-cocked half the time. It entertains me to no end. So if you are irrational, I hope you stay that way. I love it."

I frowned

Alex: "All of that sounds really good. Thanks."

Seth: "Rational is mundane and uninteresting. Why would you want to be that?"


Scooting back once more, I kicked him in the thigh.

Alex: "You're a pain in my -"

Seth: "I think we'll work on how to control your anger."

I moved to kick him again, but he caught my calf.

Alex: "Let go."

Seth: "Don't kick me again."

Our eyes locked

Alex: "Let. Go."


Laughing, I rolled my eyes

Alex: "Wow. You're so humble."

Seth: "Why should I be humble? I'm great."


Alex: "I yelled at Aiden in training."

Seth: "I'm afraid to ask."

Alex: "He agrees with the new rules. So I yelled at him."

Seth: "And he said you were being irrational, huh?"

Alex: "Yeah, so I yelled at him some more."


Deacon: "It's not you personally. A lot of us are freaked out right now."

Alex: "That's nice to know."

Deacon: "You asked."

Alex: "I did."

Deacon: "Besides, you should be nice to me."

I cracked a half smile for him

Alex: "I'm always nice to you, Deacon."

Deacon: "Yeah, but you need to be nicer. I'm losing a lot of cool points being seen talking to you."

I glared at him.


Nurse: "We will take you in one at a time. We will make this as fast as possible for you. Any questions?"

I raised my hand, heart tumbling over itself.

Nurse: "Yes?"

Alex: "What if we don't agree to this?"

Nurse: "There's nothing to be worried about. It will be over within a couple of minutes."

I nodded slowly, feeling the eyes of the other halfs on me and the Guards shifting uncomfortably.

Alex: "Yeah, I'm not down with this."

Nurse: "But ... you have no choice."

Alex: "But I do and I'm choosing no. And if you don't like that, then I'd like to see you try to make me do this."

That was pretty much when the Guard behind me decided they were going to try to make me do this. And that is when I decided I was going to be hitting someone again.


Alex: "Okay. I'm done."

Guard: "We'll decide when you're done."

Seth: "No. I will decide when you are done. And you are done with her."

The weight on my chest suddenly vanished, along with the guard. She flew across the med room, slamming into one of the many carts lining the walls. I rolled onto my knees, drawing in air.

Seth took one step into the room, eyes simmering with anger.

Seth: "You. Help her up now."

Guard: "But ... we have our orders. She refused to comply."

Seth: "You must not have paid close attention. The Minister gave orders for all halfs to be searched, but not his stepdaughter. I doubt he will be pleased to know you three disobeyed him. Why have you not helped her up yet?"

The guard who had spoken darted forward and gently placed me on my feet

Seth: Apologize to her. All of you."

Alex: "Seth, that's not -"

Seth: "Be quiet, Alex. I want to hear them apologize."

My brows shot up

Alex: "Excuse -"

Guard: "I'm sorry, Miss Andros. I beg your pardon."

Seth looked pointedly at the other guards. The female Guard limped forward, apologizing profusely. When I nodded, they filed out of the room, leaving Seth and me alone for a few moments.

Alex: "You didn't have to make them apologize, Seth. They were just doing their jobs. You didn't -"

He stood directly in front of me, moving so fast I hadn't even registered it. He caught the edge of my chin with the tips of his fingers, looking me over.

Seth: "A 'thank you' would be nice. I did stop them, you know."

Alex: "Thanks."

Seth arched a brow as he tipped my head back

Seth: "You could also sound like you mean it."

Alex: "I do mean it, but you embarrassed them."

Seth: "You beat the guards up when they were just doing their jobs. I guess we're even."


Seth: "I only have enough room in my head to be concerned about myself and you."

I snickered

Alex: "I'm surprised you have any room to think about anyone but yourself."

Seth: "Me too. I don't think I like it, actually."


Aiden caught my chin again

Aiden: "That's not what I was going to say. You worry too much, Agapi. I'm not going to say anything to anyone. Not a single word of this, but that doesn't mean I'm going to forget."

Alex: "What does the mean?"

He smiled, but it seemed off and a little sad.

Aiden: "Well, you need to get some rest, and you need time to just chill out. I don't know. I'll think of something."

I covered his hand with mine. At once, he let go of my chin and threaded his fingers through mine.

Alex: "What does Agapi mean?"

Aiden sucked in air

Aiden: "What?"

Alex: "You've called me Agapi ... a couple of times. It sounds beautiful."

Aiden: "Oh. I ... I didn't realize I had."

He pulled his hand free

Aiden: "It's the old language. It doesn't really mean anything."


Aiden: "I really need to find a way to bar those doors."

Seth shot Aiden a look

Seth: "I really wish you'd try."

Aiden: "Don't you have something you should be doing? I cannot believe your sole purpose of being here is to help Alex a few days a week and prowl the halls of the female dorm."

Seth: "Actually that is my sole purpose. Didn't you know? I'm here -"

Alex: "Um, is practice over, Aiden?"

Aiden: "Yeah."

His eyes stayed on Seth

I felt there was a good chance he might stab Seth. There was also a good possibility Seth might zap Aiden.

Alex: "Okay. Thanks for the practice ... and everything."

Seth smirked and raised his brows at Aiden

Aiden: "No problem."

On the way out, I grabbed a fistful of Seth's shirt.

Alex: "Come on."

Seth: "What? I think Aiden wants to hang out with me."


Alex: "I'm not supposed to be hanging out with friends."

Seth: "Then I guess it's a good thing that you and I aren't really friends."


Alex: "Whatever. Shut up."

Seth: "Then let's play, Alex."

He considered grappling "playing" only because it did involve a lot of rolling around ... and at times, hair pulling. And I think Seth used it as an excuse to cop a feel. Like right now. I knocked his hand off my butt.

Alex: "You're such a dog."

Seth: "And your grappling skills suck."

He pinned me for a third time

Seth: "Most females suck at it. It's basic body strength. Males have more mass. SO you need to stay on your feet."

Rolling my hip, I managed to knock Seth off.

Alex: "Yeah, I think I grasped that already."

Seth: "So, you slept like a little baby Apollyon last night. I wonder why."

I glared at him. Seth had stayed the night again.

Alex: "I loathe you."

Seth: "You reluctantly like me."


Seth: "Aw, did you just fall?"

Alex: "No. I attacked the floor."

He dropped down, planting one leg on either side of mine. He caught my chin

Seth: "What were you and Aiden doing in practice yesterday?"

I grabbed Seth's wrist, intending on snapping it. He slipped his hands away.

Alex: "We were practicing, and why do you need to sit on me to talk to me?"

Seth: "Because I can and I like it."

Alex: "Well, I don't like it. So get off me."

He leaned forward instead, his face only inches from mine.

Seth: "I don't like your practices with Aiden. So no, I won't get off."

Alex: "You just don't like Aiden."

Seth: "You're right. I don't like him. I don't like the way he looks at you, and I really don't like the way he looks at me."

Alex: "Aiden doesn't look at me weird. And he looks at you that way because you are weird."

He laughed

Seth: "Yeah, I don't think so."


Alex: "What?"

I shrieked. Seth flinched and scooted away.

Seth: "Ouch. Damn, Alex, I can only imagine what you sound like in the throes of -"

Alex: "Are you serious?"


I rolled my eyes

Alex: "Oh, so they're going to make the dorms co-ed? Yeah, that is going to go over well. Everyone's going to be having sex."

Seth: "Sounds like my kind of place. Maybe I can get a transfer."


Seth: "Alex, everything has already changed. Don't you see that? There are two of us. Everything changed t he moment you were born."


Olivia: "Hey! Hey! You little pervs, go get a room!"

Rolling my eyes, I trailed behind her.

Olivia: "You guys need to - oh."

Alex: "Oh. My. Gods!"

I shrieked, wishing my hands were empty so I could cover my eyes - or claw them out.

Golden eyes, full of amusement, met mine.

Seth: "Is there something we can help you two with?"

I whirled around, squeezing my eyes shut. My face felt like a thousand shades of red

Olivia: "No. Nothing at all. Sorry to interrupt."

Olivia backed up.

Seth: "You sure? There's always room for one - or two - more."

Elena: "Seth!"

Olivia: "Well."

Alex: "Yeah ..."

Her lips pursed

Olivia: "I hate Seth. I think he's an ass, but he does have a really nice butt."

Alex: "Yeah ..."


The knock came again, more urgent. Groaning, I went to the window and opened it.

Alex: "What?"

Seth: "Nice jammies."

Alex: "Shut up."

I grabbed a sweater off the bed and slipped it on.

Seth: "You know, I don't care about the tag marks. Makes you look dangerous in an extremely hot way."

Alex: "It's not the marks I'm covering up, and you know that."

Seth: "Partly true and partly a lie. The scars embarrass you, because you're incredibly vain for a chick who wants to be a Sentinel. And you're uncomfortable being half-naked around me -"

Alex: "I'm not half-naked! And I'm not uncomfortable around you. And I'm not vain."

Seth: "You're a terrible liar."


Seth: "You're upset over this afternoon. Were you jealous, Alex?"

My jaw hit the floor

Alex: "I'm confused to why you think I'd be jealous."

Seth gave me a knowing look.

Seth: "Perhaps you're jealous of Elena?"

I picked up a cute sweater I'd bought before we'd gone into lockdown.

Alex: "What? Me, jealous of Elena and her Tinkerbell hair - don't think so."

He stretched over and tugged the sweater out of my hand

Seth: "Oh. Catty, aren't you?"

Alex: "Not at all. If I'd only known about your Peter Pan complex, I would've introduced you two sooner."

I reached for it, but he rolled it up into a ball and tossed the sweater across the room.

Alex: "Ugh! You are so annoying!"

Seth: "Just admit you're jealous. That's the first step, and the second step is doing something about it."

I glared at Seth

Alex: "I could care less what - or who - you do in your spare time."

Then something struck me.

Alex: "Wait. You know what? This is messed up."

Seth: "Do tell."

Alex: "Everyone jumps me about how every single thing I do is a reflection upon you, but you're doing people in the garden! How is that okay?"

Seth: "You make it sound so distasteful. Don't knock it until you try it. Oh. Wait. You haven't tried anything, have you, my little virgin Apollyon?"

I swung out at him as hard as I possibly could. Anticipating my reaction, Seth caught my hand. His eyes flashed dangerously as he tugged me forward. My own momentum caused me to stumble. I ended up falling forward. Seth twisted into his side and circled his arms around me

Seth: "Always hitting. I think we should work on your manners."

Alex: "Oh, come on. You're wrinkling all my clothes, you jerk-face."


Alex: "Wait. Wait one second, Seth. If you can feel my emotions or whatever when I'm spazzing out, then I should be able to feel yours."

Seth: "Right, but not -"

Alex: "Oh. My. Gods. I have felt you."

Seth's brows rose slowly

Seth: "No way, I know how to shield myself so that I'm not broadcasting my every wish and desire like you."

Alex: "Oh. No. You are so wrong."

My cheeks burned just thinking about it. The nights I'd felt all hot and tingling - and right before I'd walked in on him and Elena - it wasn't just my overactive horomones.

Alex: "Oh, this sucks."

Seth: "What are you talking about?"

Alex: "I've felt you a couple of times - at night. Like when you're doing ... your thing."

He gave a short laugh, and then it seemed to hit him. His mouth dropped open

Seth: "Doing my thing?"

Alex: "Yeah. Just forget I said anything."

Seth: "No. Not likely. What did you feel?"

This really did suck. It was also mortifying and beyond freaky.

Alex: "You know, fooling around. I've felt ... you then."

Seth stared at me so long I thought he lost the ability to speak. Then when I was just starting to get worried, he threw his head back and laughed. Really loudly - and he didn't stop.

I gaped at him

Alex: "It's not funny!"

Seth: "Oh, it's probably the funniest damn thing I've heard in a long time. This is great."

Alex: "It's not great. What kind of connection is this? A one-way hotline to Pervyville? It's disgusting. Freaky - stop laughing, Seth!"

Seth: "I can't. Of all the times for you to connect with me, and it had to be then? Damn Alex, I didn't know you're such a peeping -"

I hit him hard on the arm. It wasn't a playful tap. It would bruise.

Seth: "Jeez. And you're so violent. Do you know how hot -"

I swung at him again, but this time Seth was prepared. He dodged my fist and caught me around the waist. Before I could even break his hold, he flipped me onto my back. This time he hovered above me, arms planted on either side of my head.

Seth: "This is priceless."

Alex: "You are so annoying."


Alex: "Field experience! I knew it."

Aiden looked at me strangely.

Aiden: "I guess you can consider this field experience."

Alex: "So what are we going to do? Trail some daimons back to their hive? I have to admit, I'm not really good at the whole tailing thing. I'm more -"

Aiden: "I know. You're more of an action girl instead of a sit-and-be-quiet girl."


Alex: "I don't deserve this."

Aiden: "Yes, you do. I think you deserve a break from everything. You've been working so hard, pulling double - triple - duty. And you really don't complain -"

I shot round, facing him.

Alex: "I complain. I complain all the time."

Shaking his head, Aiden laughed

Aiden: "I stand corrected."

Alex: "But I've been in so much trouble. I threw an apple at Lea's face. I fought guards. I cheated on my trig exam."

Aiden looked at me, frowning.

Aiden: "You cheated on your math exam?"

Alex: "Uh, forget that."


Aiden: "We also need to keep this a secret. We can't let anyone find out."

I nodded

Alex: "Of course. I won't say a single word. I just can't believe you remembered this."

Aiden: "I remember everything you say."


Alex: "Anyway, screw what anyone thinks. Who cares, right?"

Aiden: "Yeah, who cares? We're at the zoo. Screw them."

Alex: "Yeah, screw them."


Aiden: "Mortals scare me."

Alex: "What?"

I laughed in disbelief.

Aiden: "They do. They're unpredictable creatures. You don't know if they're going to hug you or stab you. They're ruled by emotions."

Alex: "And we're not."

Aiden: "No. They - I mean, we're taught to control our emotions. To not let them be what guides our decisions. Everything in our world - both of our worlds - is about logic and continuing our races. You know that. But you seem to be at ease around all of them. You have more experience dealing with them than I do."

I nodded, turning back to the cage

Alex: "I blended in, but i never fit in. They can sense something off about us. That's why no one will get too close to us."

Aiden: "I cannot possibly imagine you blending in."

Alex: "Why? I think I did a damn good job of going unnoticed for three years."

Aiden: "I just can't. No one is like you, Alex."

I grinned

Alex: "I'll take that as a compliment."

Aiden: "It is. You're incredibly intelligent, Alex. Funny and ..."

Alex: "Pretty?"

Aiden: "No, not pretty."

Alex: "Cute?"

Aiden: "No."

I frowned

Alex: "Well, then."

Aiden's laugh sent shivers through me,

Aiden: "I was going to say 'stunning.' You're stunningly beautiful."


Alex: "I like animals."

Aiden: "That's why you practically choked yourself in the car?"

I cringed

Alex: "You noticed that, huh? My mom loved animals, too. She said one that we were a lot like the ones in the cages. Well fed and taken care of, but caged nonetheless. I never agreed with that."

Aiden: "You don't?"

Alex: "Nope. Here the animals are safe. Out in the wild, they'd be killing one another or being poached. I know they've lost their freedom, but sometimes things have to be sacrificed."

Aiden: "That's a strange perspective for you to have."

Alex: "You mean it's a strange perspective for a half-blood to have. I know. Bit we all have to sacrifice something to gain something else."


Alex: "If you weren't a pure, what would you be doing right now? Like, what would you want to do with your life?"

Aiden glanced down at our hands and then his gaze flicked to mine

Aiden: "Right this instant? I'd be doing a hell of a lot more than what I'm allowed to do."


Aiden: "I know how brave you are, Alex. But you don't always have to be. It's okay every once in a while to let someone else be brave for you. There;s no loss of dignity in that. Not for you. You've already proven that you have more dignity than even a pure-blood can muster."

Alex: "You must be high off sugar or something."

Aiden laughed

Aiden: "You just don't see what we see, Alex. Even the times you're being utterly ridiculous about something or when you're just standing around, doing nothing, it's hard to not notice. As a pure-blood it's the last thing I should notice. I don't think you have a clue."

Alex: "What don't I have a clue about?"

Aiden: "Ever since I've met you, I've wanted to break every rule."

Aiden turned away, the muscles in his neck tensing. He sighed.

Aiden: "You'll become the center of someone's world one day. And he'll be the luckiest son of a bitch on this earth."


Alex: "I love you."

Aiden jerked back, eyes wide.

Aiden: "No. Alex. Don't say that. You can't ... you can't love me."

Alex: "But I do."

His face was tight, as if he was experiencing some terrible pain. Then he closed his eyes and leaned in, pressing his lips against my forehead. He lingered there a few moments before pulling back. His chest rose and fell as I stared at him.

Aiden scrubbed the palms of his hands over his eyes and let out another ragged breath.

Aiden: "Alex ..."

Alex: "Oh, gods. I never should have said that."

Aiden: "It's okay. It's all right."

Okay? It didn't seem okay. And okay and all right weren't what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to say he loved me, too. Wasn't that what was said after a declaration of love? Not okay. I knew he cared about me and he wanted me in the physical sense, but he wasn't saying those three little words.

And those three words were so important. They changed everything,


Piperi: "Child, that rose ain't going to ease your heart. Move on? Let go? Stay on the path your heart has chosen? Ain't nothing easy when the heart has laid claim."

My eyes popped open

Alex: "You have for to be kidding me."

Piperi: "Do you know why a heart lays claim? Survival. That heart lays its claim to ensure survival of its kind."


Piperi: "Your momma wanted to save you - save you from your fate. If she hadn't, you'd be nothing but a memory and a fear long forgotten. Just like all you who mix the breeds. What they want you two for, what they planned."

She shook her head again and when she looked at me, sorrow etched across her face.

Piperi: "They fear you, fear what comes from you. I told you, child. I told you that your path was filled with dark things that much be done."


Piperi: "Listen to me, child. Fate is afoot. Things cannot be undone. Fate h as looked into the past and into the future. History is on repeat, but this is the time to press 'stop.' To chance everything."

Alex: "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm sorry. You're not making -"

Piperi: "Listen to me!"

Alex: "I'm listening! But could you speak a coherent sentence for once?"

Piperi: "I ain't nothing no more. You must see what I've shown you. Hear what I have spoken. Nothing is what it seems. Evil hides in the shadows, plotting its plans while you fear the daimons."

Alex: "I don't fear daimons."

Piperi: "You should fear those who follow the old ways. Those who do not seek chance and cannot allow things to continue as they are. And what a path, what a path the Powers have chosen. The end, the end is near. He, will see to it."

I rolled my eyes

Alex: "Oh, for the love of the gods, this makes no sense."

Piperi: "You don't get it. Listen to me."

She poked me in the chest with one bony finger

Piperi: "You must make a choice between what is fated and what is unknown."

Alex: "Ow!"

She jabbed me again.

Alex: "Hey! Knock it off!"

Piperi: "Take the risk or suffer the consequences! You must not accept gifts from those who seek to destroy you."

Alex: "Or candy."

Piperi: "You must stay away from the one who brings nothing but heartache and death. Do you hear me? He brings nothing but death. Always has. Know the difference between need and love, fate and future. If you don't everything your momma sacrificed will be for naught."

Alex: "Who is he?"

Piperi: "He is not what he seems. He has them all fooled - has him fooled. Poor child doesn't see it. He doesn't see it, and it has sealed his fate."

She sighed

Piperi: "That one plays both sides. You don't know - you wouldn't know."


Seth: "She poofed? Seriously?"

Alex: "Yes, she poofed. Like she was there one second, and the next she was a pile of dust."

Seth: "We just don't poof, Alex. That doesn't happen."

Alex: "Well, it did. She poked me in my chest with her bony fingers and said some crazy stuff. Then she poofed!"

Seth's brows flew up and he laughed again

Seth: "What have you been doing today? Smoking something?"

Addressing Marcus, I threw up my hands.

Alex: "Does he have to be here?"

Lucian: "He is where I need him to be. And I need him here."

Alex: "Can he shut up, at least? There's no valuable need for him to comment on everything that comes out of my mouth!"

Seth: "I'm commenting on everything because it sounds like you've smoked some crack."


Seth: "Sure. Sure. Go on, Alexandria. Tell us how she poofed again."

Alex: "I've already explained it. It's pretty easy to understand. Even for you. Or did you wake up on the wrong side of stupid this morning?"

Aiden: "Alex. Just talk to Marcus."

Alex: "Sorry. If he says one more word to me, I'm going to take that dagger off that wall and shove it through his eye."

Seth: "Well, that's brave for a little Apollyon in training. If you want to try it, I'm game."

Marcus: "Seth!"

Alex: "You know what? I bet your mother wanted to drown you after you were born."

Marcus: "Alexandria! Would you two -"

Seth: "And there's a reason why mothers turn daimon and try to kill their daughters."

I shot across the room, aiming right for the dagger behind Marcus's desk. Aiden cut me off.

Aiden: "Don't. Just ignore him."

Alex: "Don't tell me what to do. I want the dagger so I can cut him."

Seth: "Cut me? What are you - a street thug Apollyon about to shank me?"

Lucian: "So much passion between you two. Can be expected, I imagine. You two are one and the same. Let them go. We can continue this conversation without any more interruptions, entertaining as they are."

Alex: "What?"

Lucian: "Let them go. Alexandria has already told us what has happened. The oracle has passed and another has come into power. Let them work through their lovers' quarrel in private."

Even Seth's eyes widened at that.


Something ridiculously stupid sprung alive in my chest. Aiden was jealous?

Alex: "You know what?"

I shot Aiden a defiant look.

Alex: "Let's go. Come on, Seth. Let's go continue our lovers' quarrel."

Seth: "Yes, my love, that sounds absolutely fantastic. Don't forget a dagger so you can poke my eyeball out."


Seth: "I'm going to ask you one more time, Alex. What were you doing today?"

Alex: "Or what? What are you going to do? And why do you even care?"

Seth: "Because the emotions you were feeling today were outrageous."

Alex: "Gods, this day will never end. Who cares?"

Seth: "I care because you were supposed to be training with Aiden today, and there is no reason you'd be feeling those kind ... Oh. No, no, no."

Alex: "What?"

Seth: "You wouldn't. Wait. What am I saying? You would do something so incredibly stupid."

Alex: "Uh ... gee, thanks."

Seth: "Please tell me I'm wrong. Tell me that you are not messing around with a godsdamned pure-blood. Damn it, Alex. Him? My gods, it explains so much."

He laughed harshly

Seth: "Now I know why he hates me, at least. Why he's always on you. I just figured it was in the figurative sense and not literal. What the hell are you thinking? What is he thinking? You're going to throw everything away! Your future - my future - and for what? To get more pure in you?"

Alex: "You don't have a clue what you're talking about! I'm not messing around with Aiden."

Seth: "Don't you date lie to me about something like this! You can't do this, Alex. I will not allow this to continue."

Alex: "No. No! Seth, stop! Please. Please listen to me. It's not what you think!"

Seth: "It's not about what I think. It's what I felt today!"


Alex: "Nothing happened between Aiden and me. Okay? I do care about him, all right? I know it's wrong. I know it's stupid, but nothing is going on between us."

Seth: "What I felt from you today wasn't nothing, Alex. You're still lying to me."

Alex: "Okay. We kissed, but - stop! Listen to me. We did kiss, but it's nothing. It was stupid - a mistake. It's nothing to get all bent out of shape over. Okay?"

Seth: "You ... you love him, don't you?"

I stared at him, my heart thumping loudly

Alex: "No. No, of course I don't."

Seth: "Alex ... Alex, you're insane."


Leon: "Miss Andros."

Alex: "Yeah?"

Leon: "You're no supposed to be in here."

Alex: "Come on."

Caleb: "She's not bothering anyone."

Leon: "Up."

Caleb: "One of these days, you'll be able to stay out and play. Then everything will be right in our world."

Alex: "Leon, can I have a playdate with my friends?"

Leon: "Perhaps you'd be allowed to have playdates if you stayed out of trouble for a whole week."

Caleb: "I guess that's a no. So now you know what to do. Stay out of trouble for a whole week, Alex. A whole week."


Alex: "That's not true. I don't need Seth."

Aiden: "You don't need me, Alex."


Alex: "Is ... this because of what I told you at the zoo? Why you don't want to train me anymore?"

Aiden's lean body tensed again, and a muscle in his jaw jumped.

Aiden: "Yes, that has something to do with it."

A crack in my heart started

Alex: "Because ... because I said I loved you?"

He made a deep sound in his throat

Aiden: "And because I don't ..."

He paused, looking away

Aiden: "I don't feel the same way about you. I can't. Okay? I can't let myself love you. If I did, I would take everything from you - everything. I can't do that to you. I won't do that to you."